Our amorous and erotic experiences do not simply bring us pleasure; they shape our very identities, our ways of relating to ourselves, each other and our shared world. This volume challenges some of our most prevalent assumptions relating to identity, the body, monogamy, libido, sexual identity, seduction, fidelity, orgasm, and more. In twelve original and philosophically thought-provoking essays, the authors reflect on the broader meanings of love and sex: what their shifting historical meanings entail for us in the present; how they are constrained by social conventions; the ambiguous juxtaposition of agency and passivity that they reveal; how they shape and are formed by political institutions; the opportunities they present to resist the confines of gender and sexual orientation; how cultural artefacts can become incorporated into the body; and how love and sex both form and justify our ethical world views.
Ideal for students both in philosophy and gender studies, this highly readable book takes us to the very heart of two of the most important dimensions of human experience and meaning-making: to the seductive and alluring, confusing and frustrating, realms of love and sex.
Part I: Desire’s Dissonance / 1. Introduction: Desire’s Dissonance, Sarah LaChance Adams, Christopher Davidson, and Caroline Lundquist / Part II: Defining Desire / 2. Finding and Then Losing Your Way, Louis A. Ruprecht Jr. / 3. Love, and a Romantic Living Room: Remarks for an Inquiry on Ordinary Love Today, Chiara Piazzesi / 4. Love at the Limit of Phenomenology (à la Sartre and Marion), Yong Dou (Michael) Kim / 5. Monogamism and Polyamorism: A Weberian Analysis, Erik Jansson Boström Part III: Sex, Love, and Agency / 6. Friendless Women and the Myth of Male Nonage, Elena Clare Cuffari / 7. Revolutionary Politics of Love: Pussy Riot and Punk Rock as Feminist Practice, Fulden Ibrahimhakkioglu / 8. Practice in Paradox: What We Can Learn About Love from Relationships between Parents and Young Adult Children, Christine Overall / Part IV:Embodiment and Culture / 9. Orchid Love, Phoebe Hart / 10. Failed Medicalization and the Cultural Iconography of Feminine Sexuality, Rebecca Kukla / 11. Being Through Love: The Collaborative Construction of a Sexual Body, Amy E. Taylor Part V: Truth and Deception / 12 The Power of Seduction, Alain Beauclair / 13. Some Notes on Faking, Hildur Kalman / Notes / Bibliography / Index / Notes on Contributors
The philosophies of sex and love in this anthology do, indeed, feel ‘new’. […] In summary, this is an excellent collection of essays for anyone interested in the philosophy of sex and love and/or feminism and gender issues more broadly. […] In addition, the bringing together of such a range of authors should be commended. Not only are 75% of the authors women, they also come from a range of countries (including Canada, America, Australia, Turkey and Sweden). Further, they represent a variety of academic backgrounds, including social work and psychology, as well as philosophy, and there is a good mix of early career researchers and those more established. Given the scope of the questions raised in the philosophy of sex and love, and the importance of them, it is wonderful to have such a variety of voices speaking about it in one place.
An eclectic and fascinating collection. Diverse perspectives and approaches are brought to bear on a broad range of issues concerning sex and love. The volume's aim is not to supply conclusive answers, definitions, or theories, but to draw attention to more (and subtler) questions, ideas, and possibilities. It is emphatically successful.
From a new reading of Plato’s understanding of erotic love to a scientific criticism of clichéd gender roles in heterosexual relationships, from a defence of polyamory to a discussion of the failed medicalization of feminine sexuality, there’s something in here for everyone: a refreshingly varied collection of essays on philosophical topics in sex and love.
Sarah LaChance Adams is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Superior. Her previous publications include Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering (co-edited with Caroline Lundquist, 2012) and Mad Mothers, Bad Mothers, and What a “Good” Mother Would Do: The Ethics of Ambivalence (2014).
Christopher M. Davidson is Assistant Professor at Ball State University.
Caroline R. Lundquist is a philosophy instructor at Lane Community College and at the University of Oregon. Her previous publications include Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering (co-edited with Sarah LaChance Adams, 2012), and various articles in feminist philosophy and ethics.